What is Job Seeker's Allowance? 

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people over 18 who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week and who are seeking work.

Some 16 and 17 year olds can also apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We've compiled some useful answers to come of your frequently asked questions around Jobseeker's Allowance.

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.

Who can get Jobseeker's Allowance?

To receive Jobseeker's Allowance you must:

  • be available for work
  • be actively seeking work
  • have entered into a claimant commitment - this is an agreement between you and the Jobcentre.

How do I apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance?

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance online, or by phoning Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

In some areas of the country you might have to apply for Universal Credit instead.

See our frequently asked questions guide to Universal Credit. 

I have been turned down for Job Seeker's Allowance, how do I challenge a decision?

If you want to challenge a decision about your Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must ask the Department of Work and Pensions to look at their decision again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration. You must do this within a month of the letter that told you about the decision. If they do not change their decision, then you can appeal.

A Tribunal will decide whether to change the decision. More information is available from the government website.

Try to get an advisor to help you with your appeal. You can find advisors in your local area.


Useful resources

We've created the following factsheets and precedent letters (which are designed to address complex legal situations) to help you know your rights and when to get advice about a problem.

You can access these on our Information and advice resources page.

If you require advice on completing a letter, please contact the Learning Disability Helpline.

How to get the support you need

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at our online community? This is a place for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability to share experiences, advice and support.

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